In 2017–18, we used a range of regulatory tools to address poor conduct by businesses and significant breaches of consumer protection laws. The table below provides an overview of our actions in meeting this goal.
We integrated new underquoting laws brought about by the Estate Agents Amendment (Underquoting) Act 2016 into our ongoing compliance program.
The Federal Court decision in our case against Fletcher and Parker (Balwyn) Pty Ltd was a strong endorsement of our approach and the $880,000 penalty was a state record for underquoting.
We made it easier for businesses to comply with their obligations, with our online licensing and registration system, myCAV, expanded to include estate agents.
We also introduced new legislation enabling the Minister for Consumer Affairs to exempt an incorporated association or class of associations from annual financial reporting requirements if they are also registered with, and reporting to, another regulator (such as the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission).
We continued our work on our digital-first approach, implementing a responsive website to engage and enable Victorian businesses and consumers to access easy-to-understand information on a range of devices and platforms.
When products posed a risk to consumers and children, we responded quickly by inspecting or removing them. We conducted 1,117 inspections, leading to the removal of more than 60,000 unsafe items from sale.
Compliance activities undertaken1
|Market monitoring activity3
|Businesses engaged through the Better Business Initiative
|Parties to criminal proceedings, appeals and rehearings
|Parties to civil proceedings
|Parties signed to enforceable undertakings
|Registration and licensing
|Annual returns, updates or cancellations processed for incorporated associations, fundraisers and co-operatives
|Total registration and licensing transactions4
1 Data in varies between years based on our regulatory risk priorities, government policy, the nature of our compliance program and the cyclical nature of our integrated compliance approach.
2 The increased complexity of investigations after 2015–16, largely influenced by underquoting matters, resulted in lower volumes.
3 Market monitoring activity reduced after 2015–16 as a result of sufficient information being obtained to assure major investigations.
4 Registration activity and estate agent transactions have increased, in part as a result of making electronic transactions simpler through myCAV.